Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s Disease

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Summary

Pediatric Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disease that leads the eventual loss of body function.

Expanded overview

Parkinson’s disease is central nervous system disorder that affects movement, often including tremors. It typically affects people over the age of 60, but in rare occasions, it can impact children. Young-onset Parkinson’s disease (YOPD) is marked by the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells that cause the breakdown of motor functions in the body (including coordination, walking and other movements). Males have a 50 percent higher risk of developing Parkinson's disease than females.

Causes

The exact cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown. Research suggests it’s due to a combination of genetics and environmental triggers (like pesticides or toxic metals). Genetics have been shown to play a more significant role in causing YOPD.

Symptoms

Symptoms of YOPD include:

  • Arm, hand, leg and face tremors
  • Bradykinesia (slow movement)
  • Constipation or incontinence
  • Depression
  • Dizziness or poor balance
  • Fatigue
  • Impaired speech
  • Limb and torso stiffness
  • Memory problems
  • Reduced coordination and instability
  • Restlessness
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Slow, rapid or uneven blinking
  • Swallowing difficulties

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